Then and Now

Thursday Then & Now: Orange County Courthouse

18 June 2021

Sometimes things change radically. Other times there is little, if any, change and that is how I found the Orange County Texas Courthouse. Other than two 1960’s additions, one on either side of the Courthouse, the Courthouse has not changed since its completion in 1937.

The Texas Historic Commission describes the Courthouse as “Moderne” in style and, in my opinion, that is being generous. On my recent visit several panels on the front façade had either been removed or had fallen off and were awaiting restoration. Otherwise, the building looks much as it did in its early years of serving citizens of Orange County, Texas.

1960’s addition, duplicated on the opposite side of Courthouse
1940 photograph of Orange County Courthouse
copied from the UNT Portal to Texas History collection

3 thoughts on “Thursday Then & Now: Orange County Courthouse”

  1. I love this courthouse design! It is very similar to the Jacksboro and Van Zandt counties courthouses in Texas, and also the Hempstead county courthouse in Arkansas. Jacksboro’s had green marble facings under the windows that someone had painted with gray latex paint! Fortunately, they corrected that on the renovation. I think the two modernist additions are very complementary of the building also. Nice post! Love the vintage photograph also–it really adds to the visual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, Jacks County and Van Zandt are architectural twins. And for a reason. The firm of Voelker and Dixon designed both. I have a feeling that they are like J Riely Gordon’s courthouses that are similar inside. I’m sure you know they were WPA projects :). All are in my beloved Art Deco style. I had hoped that the Orange County Courthouse would be Art Deco, but it seems to fall short of that description to me.

      Latex paint? Shudder! I’m glad it was removed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did do LND submissions on both Jack and Van Zandt, so I am sure I did know the architects, but as I have said before, I slept since then. 🙂
        I love J Riely Gordon’s work, too. I have discovered there is a thin line between Art Deco and Art Moderne, kind of like ‘stripped classic’ when the times called for economic restraint.

        Liked by 1 person

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